Land Trust launches “Save Land” campaign to protect 20,000 acres by 2020

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In 2017, important landscapes in the Bear River and Yuba River watersheds weathered an onslaught of natural disasters that included flooding, heat waves, bark beetle infestations, and wildfire.

In an effort to support the natural resources that have always sustained the people, plants, and animals who live within and downstream of these watersheds, Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) is launching a community campaign with a timely message and call to action: “Keep It Wild. Protect Open Space. Donate to BYLT’s  Save Land campaign.”

“The lands on the Western slope of the Sierra Nevada, where the Bear and Yuba Rivers and their many tributaries flow, is a hotspot for plant and animal biodiversity. From the mountain meadows and lakes in the East to the vernal pools and perennial wetlands in the West, we live in an area greatly enhanced by our water and land resources,” said Director of Land Stewardship Erin Tarr.

Founded 27 years ago, BYLT is a community-supported not-for-profit organization that to date has preserved over 12,000 acres with an ambitious new goal of conserving 20,000 acres by 2020. This season, an anonymous local donor has stepped forward with a generous gift, to support the land conservation work of BYLT and match dollar for dollar every donation gifted to BYLT’s year-end Land Appeal, up to $40,000.

“Thanks to the generosity of a caring individual, everyone who donates to the “Save Land” appeal before the end of the year can double their money and their impact,” said BYLT’s Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt.

Annually, BYLT’s end-of-the-year fundraising and outreach campaign generates critical funding for protection of important landscapes and enables restoration work necessary to better protect wildlife habitat and water quality.

“Now more than ever, the land needs our help,” said Coleman-Hunt further.  “Nature is capable of coming back if we help it along, and we don’t get in the way with poor land use and management. Our survival depends on this.”

Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) is committed to preserve and protect the long-term health of forests, oak woodlands, ranches, urban nature preserves and upper watershed lands. Conserving these lands provides a place for plants and animals to thrive as they adapt to a changing climate; enhances world-class outdoor recreation; and ensures the cultural and biological heritage of forests, farms and ranches are sustained into the future.

“A rural quality of life is something we all cherish at BYLT. Keeping ranchers and small farmers on land that is healthy and economically viable for their operations is very important to us. We believe that there can and should be a balance between continuing to manage our working landscapes through sustainable forestry and grazing practices as well as protecting critical habitats for wildlife to adapt and evolve to our changing environment,” said Erin Tarr.

In November and December, BYLT will release a series of stories from the land. These include:

  •         The announcement of a new 857-acre conservation easement in the Sierra Nevada protecting important wolverine and Northern goshawk habitat from development in the Grouse Ridge roadless area of Lindsey Lakes
  •         Restoration work along the middle Bear River on BYLT’s 650-acre Garden Bar Preserve where native perennial grasses are being planted and water sources are being installed as part of a long-term Holistic Rangeland Management Plan
  •         A ribbon cutting and unveiling of the new Higgins Pond Preserve near Lake of the Pines
  •         Updates on Urban Community Conservation Projects at Adam Ryan Preserve, Burton Homestead, and Woodpecker Wildlife Preserve
  •         Creation of a pollinator meadow on a private ranch on Indian Springs Road
  •         Annual Monitoring Visits to conserved lands and Stewardship Volunteer Workdays to enhance habitat and resiliency on conserved lands
  • #OptOutside with 52 Hike Challenge and REI at Sequoya Preserve